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Senate Body Approves Draft RTI Bill with Amendments

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Published: February 2, 2017 02:38 pm

ISLAMABAD: The Select Committee of the Senate has formally given its approval for the passage of draft Right to Information (RTI) Bill, 2016 with certain amendments. The decision was made during its meeting held under the chairmanship of Committee Chairperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar here on Tuesday.

Under the draft bill, all government and official record would be made public after 20 years. The draft law also proposed to furnish the requested information within three days, if it is related to life and personal liberty of a person.

The committee deliberated upon the draft law in detail and unanimously approved the clauses with amendments proposed by the committee members.

As per the draft RTI bill, the Information Commission will be constituted consisting of three members, including a grade 22 officer, a retired judge and a representative of civil society and it will be responsible to observe and decide matters pertaining to the provision of information and address complaints. The members of the commission will have the authority equal to a Civil Court Judge.

In addition, the proposed Information Commission has to present its reports, including audit, annual and other reports in the National Assembly twice a year. The age limit for the appointment of member(s) of the Commissions has been set at 65 years, while the Prime Minister will have the authority to appoint or fire any member(s) of the Commission. The draft law also proposes penalty of not less than 100,000 and imprisonment for a period of maximum two years for destroying public record.

The Chairman Committee recognized the efforts of committee members for attending the meeting and proposing valuable suggestions to the draft RTI bill. The Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb and Chairman Standing Committee on Information Senator Kamil Ali Agha also attended the meeting.

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